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With three weeks left in the NFL Regular Season, only three teams have guaranteed their ticket to the postseason, and only one team has guaranteed themselves a first-round bye. But with all the uncertainly surrounding the NFL Playoffs, the sportsbooks have pegged two teams as overwhelming favorites to win their respective conferences.
The New England Patriots regained command of the AFC with a big win in Houston last weekend, and coupled with outright losses by both Denver and Cincinnati, the Patriots are now a commanding +110 favorite to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
The two closest teams to the Patriots in terms of AFC Future Odds are Denver and Pittsburgh, who are each returning a 4:1 payout.
There are only a few weeks left in the NFL Regular Season, and there are still a number of teams that can play their way into the playoffs. Playoff positioning is also up for grabs in the next few weeks, with a number of games this weekend having big consequences on the NFL postseason. We’ll have an NFL Playoff Update article later this week, but for now we’ll break down some of the key NFL games this weekend from a betting perspective.
The Thursday game is a great matchup as 8-4 Minnesota travels to Arizona to face the Cardinals who won their tenth game of the season on Sunday. That was a big revenge spot for the Cardinals, who avenged their lone home loss of the season in a blowout win vs. St. Louis.
Arizona faces a similar type of foe this week, as like the Rams Minnesota is a rush-heavy offense without much of a passing threat. Vikings have been held to under 200 yards passing eight times this season – including a 94-yard passing effort last week in a blowout loss vs. Seattle. This top online sportsbook looks for Arizona to win big again, listing the host as a big 7.5-point favorite.
While there are only two games on this weekend’s NFL schedule featuring a pair of team with winning records, this is a very important week for some of the NFL Playoff contenders to break out of slumps and start building momentum towards a postseason run.
Green Bay is in a huge revenge spot this Thursday in Detroit after the Lions pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the entire NFL season when they won outright in Lambeau Field a few weeks ago. Detroit was a big 11.5-point road underdog in that matchup and came through with an 18-16 victory. That win propelled the Lions to a current three-game winning streak heading into this Thursday matchup.
While the Lions are gaining momentum, Green Bay is looking for confidence. After a perfect 6-0 start to the season, the Packers have since lost four of their last five games, with all four losses coming in the role of the favorite.
This is always one of the biggest football weekends of the year, with games played throughout the day both on Friday and Saturday. Friday has two games with major CFP implications with #4 Iowa taking on Nebraska as well as the big Baylor vs. TCU matchup in the Big 12.
Iowa cracked the Top Four of the latest CFP Rankings and face one of their toughest challenges of the season this Friday. This online sportsbook list the Hawkeyes as a slim 1.5-point favorite despite Iowa coming into this game with an unbeaten 11-0 record.
Perhaps this line reflects the urgency of Nebraska to win this game, needing one more victory to become bowl eligible. Hawkeyes have covered the spread in 12 of their last 14 road games overall, and we can’t imagine more motivation than playing for a spot in the College Football playoffs.
It’s the middle of November, and it’s time to start paying attention to playoff standings in the NFL. Thursday night’s AFC East matchup between the Bills and Jets has playoff implications as New York currently is slotted for one of the Wild Card entries, while Buffalo is right behind them.
New York is a small 2.5-point home favorite thanks to home field advantage, but lost both games vs. the Bills last season. Buffalo is a rush-heavy offense that may struggle against a Jets defense that is only allowing 81 rushing yards per game.
The biggest favorite on the board this weekend is Green Bay, who enters this home game against the Detroit Lions after suffering back-to-back road losses against Denver and Carolina.
Kansas City’s “never-give-up” attitude was on full display in the World Series, capped with a two-run tying ninth inning in the deciding Game Five in New York and a five-run 12th inning to secure their first World Series Championship in 30 years.
And if winning the World Series wasn’t good enough, Royals backers did especially well as KC was listed as the underdog in each of their last three wins – including a big +140 payout in Game Five. Backing the Royals in all five games would have returned a net profit of +3.7 units – winning three times at a +140, +120, and +110 underdog, then again as a small favorite and having their lone defeat in the underdog role.
While the Dodgers and Blue Jays entered the postseason with what was thought to be the best starting rotations, neither of those teams reached the World Series. Los Angeles has since parted ways with manager Don Mattingly who has since been hired by Miami.
With Kansas City beating Toronto 4-3 in Game Six the Royals reached the World Series for the second year in a row. They came up one win short last year of hoisting the trophy, falling to the San Francisco Giants in seven games.
The online sportsbooks view this series as a virtual coin flip, having the Mets as a small -125 favorite to win the World Series despite Kansas City having home field advantage. Remember, in the World Series the format for home field advantage has KC at home for Games 1, 2, 6, and 7.
Game One’s pitching matchup sees New York sending Matt Harvey to the hill against the Royals Edinson Volquez. Harvey has done a great job at home this season going 8-3 with a 2.23 ERA in 19 appearances (13-6 team start record), including two wins in two starts against the Dodgers and Cubs this postseason.
After a thrilling week of College Football action we do it again this weekend, including three teams ranked in the AP Top 25 playing before Saturday. Thursday night sees two Top 25 teams taking the field, however the sportsbooks expect those ranked teams to lose outright.
#22 Temple is a 2.5-point road underdog at East Carolina, and while Temple was able to beat ECU last year as a big 10-point underdog, they did so despite being on the road end of a 432-135 total yardage discrepancy. Owls won that game thanks to a 5-0 turnover margin – something they shouldn’t be counting on this time around.
#20 California is a 3.5-point road underdog at UCLA. The Bruins gave up 310 rushing yards in a blowout loss against Stanford this week, but get a much easier on-field matchup against Cal, who employs a pass-heavy offensive attack. UCLA held a 236-57 rushing edge last year in this meeting while winning by a slim two-point